On appositives

James Griffiths

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

    1284 Downloads (Pure)


    During conversation, a speaker often provides additional yet secondary information about a person or concept that is mentioned within his/her main message. This ancillary information is often conveyed by appositive insertions, such as ‘my neighbour’ in the sentence ‘John, my neighbour, is nice man’. Because they receive no straightforward characterisation in most formal theories of language, appositives are usually treated as linguistic outliers, whose structural and interpretative properties are in many respects unique. This thesis challenges this view and argues that, on closer inspection, most of the seemingly peculiar properties that appositives display can be explained by recourse to ‘core’ and well-understood linguistic processes or representations. As such, appositives need not be treated as a homogeneous yet somewhat exotic class of linguistic phenomena. Rather, appositives can be subsumed under well-known linguistic constructions like coordination phrases and copular clauses.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • Zwart, Jan-Wouter, Supervisor
    • de Vries, Mark, Co-supervisor
    Award date20-Apr-2015
    Place of PublicationUtrecht
    Print ISBNs978-94-6093-171-0
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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